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American Dream Makers

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s American Dream Makers program provides support to Astronaut Scholars for advancement of their innovative ideas, ventures, and initiatives.


Derek Lang, Ph.D.

Space Launch and Satellite Consulting
Engineering Space

Areas of Expertise
Starting a Small Business, Entrepreneurship, Commercialization of Innovations, Venture Capital, Grants, Small Business Innovation Research, Patents, Idea Pitch Competitions



Derek Lang brings nearly 30 years experience in technical and program management for commercial satellites, space launch vehicles, government regulations and policy. He held important roles at the US Department of Transportation/Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Boeing Sea Launch, Space Systems/Loral, and TGV Rockets, and has advised rocket development companies such as Ventions, LLC, Generation Orbit, and SpinLaunch. He founded, and is Technical Director for, Engineering Space, an aerospace technology development and consulting firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. His company focuses on encouraging NewSpace early stage ventures in developing business organizations, regulations, government research proposals, systems engineering and program management. His career has led him to work internationally, conducting space launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and Kourou, French Guiana.

He has a dream of seeing people accessing space as part of their daily lives, and is excited to assist companies striving the achieve that goal. He was a judge for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a competition to encourage private companies to send spacecraft to the moon and he was involved with San Jose State University in California to develop Cubesat platforms for education purposes. He also has extensive leadership experience in non-profit religious and community service organizations.

Derek received his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California; his Masters of Sciences in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University; a post-Masters Diploma from the von Karman Institute of Fluid Dynamics; and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He is also an alumnus of the inaugural class of the International Space University where he studied Space Policy and Law.


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